Cluster Fuck Review: Nile/Enforcer/Warbringer/Cauldron/Exmortus/We Are Legion at The Triple Rock In Minneapolis, MN 1/24/2015
This is my non partisan review. I hate being this honest but I'll try to represent both sides of the case, all sides I was told *without giving names to who said what* and my thoughts at the very end. Nights like this show makes me not care if I ever rejoin another band ever again
To put it mildly, this was a complete and utter cluster fuck of a show...
To anyone reading this, I'm sure the story has come out or soon to be coming out about how 2 tours involving one with Nile and one with Enforcer/Warbringer/Cauldron/Exmortus got together in Minneapolis, Minnesota for a show. Even on paper this sounds like a bad idea. for fans, this is both polarizing shows for fans on both sides. Sadly, there's not enough people out there who can appreciate Nile as much as Enforcer/Warbringer/Cauldron/Exmortus and vice versa. The band who got shafted the most is the local opener of the show We Are Legion. There is so much to get into about what happened...
I guess trying to tell the story, there's no way to do this but tell it in the order that I experienced it. Try to follow along, I'm sure it will get confusing at some point.
I got in line a little after 4PM to wait for the doors to open at 5PM. It was about 25-30 degrees outside, which is quite cold, not as cold as some winters, but enough to still suck. Little did I know that I'd be waiting for two hours till 6Pm when doors FINALLY opened. What happened? Well guitarist of We Are Legion, Will Maravelas, wrote up a message on Facebook announcing We Are Legion had to cancel. The reason for the cancellation? Set up took longer than expected and because of that, the band got axed. You think that would be enough right? No no no.
A big part of what happened was Nile took up the entire stage at The Triple Rock. leaving no room but for a drum set. The rest of every band that played, except Nile, played on the floor. For some people who love an up close an possible show ala Hardcore shows, this was a great experience, for those who actually care about things like sound and the band's well being, not so much. For those not in the know, The Triple Rock is a less than 400 person capacity venue. There is a merch area, a bar on the opposite side of the room, a railing area, and a few steps down in the middle is the pit area with the stage being in the back of the venue. Along with this, there is a separate bar that is attached that is a bar and grill. Having a band play on the floor at The Triple Rock is essentially taking away almost half of the pit area, making things even harder to see and less enjoyable for those that don't feel like getting their asses kicked in the name of fun.
The first band up was Exmortus. Who definitely made the best out of a shitty situation. While cracking a couple jokes about playing on the floor, they played a killer opening set. With the recently announced news they are playing with Amon Amarth and Entombed A.D. on a North American tour, these guys are getting bigger and bigger and I couldn't be happier to see it.
Toronto's Cauldron was up next. The band also cracked jokes about being "The tallest band in the world, we don't need a stage to be seen" they put an incredible set of 80's inspired Speed Metal and Heavy Metal. While there was one mishap musically, I believe it was a broken string, the band played it off like it was nothing. Way too short of an opening set, but so much fun.
Warbringer was up next. While the band is still suffering through a lot of internal problems (which I know all too well about), the band played so phenomenally. While being quite pissed about playing on the floor (as evident by social media posts) the band made the absolute best of it, treating it like you were at a Black Flag show in 1985. People were jumping off the railings while no one caught them, circle pits galore and just pure chaos of a set. the real star of the set was drummer, Carlos Cruz, who is an absolute madman behind the drums and honestly, gave George Kollias a run for being the best drummer of the whole show.
New up was Enforcer, who despite being on the floor and the stories you'll read later in this review. Did in fact play a set of music! It was quite evident that they were upset about playing on the floor, the attitude came off quite apparent as I studied what was going on. Definitely not the fun loving band I've seen from YouTube videos. Still fun, but noticeably, something was wrong. They put on a great show, while sadly having to cut 10 minutes of their set. Regardless of everything I'm glad I saw them once.
Finally for the sets of music. Nile closed out the night. Due to the anger of the show being pushed back, We Are Legion being kicked off the show, seeing 80% of the bands on the floor, not being able to do my job and get any decent pictures (just look at my Instagram account, THAT1DRUMMERGUY, if you wanna see them). I left to go to the separate bar of the Triple Rock for the rest of the night, but not before picking up an Exmortus shirt and Warbringer patch on my way over.
Now the fun begins.....
*THE FOLLOWING IS WHAT TRANSPIRED IN THE LAST 12 HOURS. NOT SAYING I AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH ANYTHING THAT THESE PEOPLE SAID, JUST REPORTING. MY THOUGHTS ARE AFTER THE NEXT ASTERISK SENTENCE*
Keep in mind, until official statements come out and takes responsibility, everything is hearsay!
While I got over to the bar, Person 1 flags me down and wanted to talk to me. He let me know about how he felt about Nile's techs were complete assholes. threatening to cancel the show if things were not to their specifications, due to the stage setup, none of the bands could play on the stage and to stack everything in front of Nile's setup (aka, backlining) treating everyone like shit and threatening to cancel the show at every turn, much like Danzig actually did cancel his show at The Cabooze in Minneapolis (and about a quarter mile away from The Triple Rock) a few years back. That left a bad taste in my mouth, especially after hearing similar things in the past.
Later in the night, I read a post on Facebook from the promoter of the show apologizing for the show last night. In it, the promoter describes how the bands "elected" to play on the floor instead of making Nile move their gear to accommodate the other bands. Which Person 2 I talked to that night saying that was a complete lie. It was either play on the floor or the show gets canceled. If true, That got me even more fired up and pissed because I do believe this person in question and having had to deal with similar situations in the past with band's Ive been in, I have no reason to believe that there is any lying in that regard. The promoter said it was also Nile's management that said We Are Legion should be taken off the bill to accommodate all the lateness that transpired.
I was all fired up to write a review with all of that information that I saw and received until i saw earlier today that Will from We Are Legion once again made a quite extensive post about what happened on his side of the story last night. To spare posting the whole post. In paraphrasing, what happened was Nile took longer than expected to set up, Enforcer got up and wanted to do a full sound check as well, that backed up the show 45 minutes more. With that, Enforcer were noticeably pissed about Nile taking much longer than expected, were acting shitty towards everyone (responsible or not), and kept their attitudes with them during the set.
Finally, There are reports that the double booking that is caused by The Triple Rock themselves. If that is the case, they clearly fucked up things quite badly and the word will get out amongst all the bands to stay away from the triple Rock if this is possible again.
*OK, THE REST IS ALL MY THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS*
So my thoughts. I don't know who is right or who is ultimately the most to blame. But I do have thoughts on what all the main party's reactions to what happened last night.
Again, if everything I wrote is true statements...
The three big targets of blame are to blame for this: Nile, Enforcer and The Promoter. Nile and their techs and management for taking their time setting up with no regard to another tour joining the show. When you are combined with other artists, specifically another tour, you gotta be a courteous to everyone involved Is moving your gear on a small stage back until all the other bands on the bill that big of deal to threaten the entire show in question? Would it really take take up that much time to just move stuff back into place? That shitty of a hassle to threaten to cancel the show?
Enforcer was well for taking the shit situation out on everyone else and if they did take 45 extra minutes to set up, that hurts everyone involved. It should not be apparent to everyone in the crowd that the whole night has been run into shit, make the best with what you got. Never let the audience know you are having a shitty night, EVER! No one will want to see you again if that gets out publicly. If you play like you are pissed off, it's very apparent. I noticed it right off the bat. Hell Exmortus, Warbringer and Cauldron did not want to play on the floor, but they made due and cracked wise about it.
And finally, The Promoter and/or Booking Agent for the Triple Rock for ever thinking this was ever going to be a good idea in the first place. If you have the option for 2 tours, the same night, same venue. PICK ONE GOD DAMN TOUR!!! Was it just to make more money in one night? A bigger show means more money, right? AAAAAAAAAND let's not forget that Cauldron was getting dicked around since the show got announced!!! At first, they were announced, then taken off the show, then put back on, then taken off again, then finally just a couple weeks before the show. they were finally added back on. That is not fair in any stretch of the imagination. The band had nothing to do with the tours being added together, they had no reason to be an innocent bystander, waiting to see if they even get to be on the bill or not. That is by far The guilty party's fault. There is no other explanation I will accept. That is simply not fair.
Lesson for future reference...because the first mention will not be enough I'm sure...if you have the opportunity to be the promoter or book two different shows on the same day at the same venue, PICK ONE GOD DAMN TOUR!!! Unless you got things completely coordinated and every single person involved knows whats going on and all sides are happy, pick one or the other, this shit will happen. This is not the first time it has happened, it won't be the last. It's not fair to Nile, it's not fair to the Enforcer/Warbringer/Cauldron/Exmortus tour, its especially not fair to We Are Legion and by far, it's not fair to anyone who went to see the show.
We gotta make this shit stop!
That Drummer Guy: Radio DJ, Interviewer, Reviewer, overall...an OK guy.